My bad housing day

I’ll have to mark today down as one my bad housing days.

Of course, I’m far from alone. Many of us woke up this morning to the disturbing news that home sales had fallen to a 15-year low. This is amazing. Home sales dropped an all-time high of 27 percent from June to July.

Yep, I guess those first-time and move-up buyer tax credits did artificially inflate the residential housing market before they expired at midnight on April 30.

For me, though, the sales numbers were just the start of a bad-news housing day. I also made the mistake of calling my mortgage lender to ask about refinancing my mortgage loan.

I already know I’m underwater on my home. I bought in early 2006, just about the worst time to have bought a house. Since signing the closing papers, my home’s value has fallen steadily.

But with the federal government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program I thought I might still qualify for a refinance. The program, after all, allows homeowners to refinance even if they owe up to 125 percent of their home’s value on their existing mortgage loan.

Here’s the catch, though: You have to refinance with your existing mortgage lender if you want to participate in the government’s refinancing program. For me, that might be a problem: My lender is asking for some ridiculous closing fees, $7,000 in total.

That seems too high. So my hands are tied. Right now? I’m considering waiting out the market a bit longer. In two or three years my home might have regained some value. In the meantime, I’ll probably bide my time, just like so many underwater homeowners. It’s a shame, too, with rates so low. It seems to me that mortgage lenders and banks are sometimes doing everything they can to make the country’s economic slump even more painful for consumers.


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    Oh wow best of luck to you, things have improved by now. Just make sure when you sell your home. A couple of selling points that can add value to your home are sometimes new solar installation eliminating utility bills. Recent central heater repaired in Newhall, or new central HVAC system with ductwork. Can be good selling points to a new buyer.

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